At 2-2, the Cowboys have made it to their bye week. Former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus tackles a few pressing questions for this team, mostly concerning the week off and how to make corrections moving forward.
What position is the most concerning for the Cowboys as they head into the bye week?
Broaddus:I know that people want to say that right guard is the biggest concern for the team but in my view, it's the Sam linebacker and the health of Anthony Spencer. This answer is not a shot at Victor Butler but Spencer is the starter for a reason. I believe that Butler is better off the bench and getting the opportunity to spot play in packages. Spencer gives this defense more run and pass than what Butler is able to do. I really believe that the Bears were able to focus more on Ware in the passing game because they believed they could handle Butler better one on one. Say what you want about Spencer and his ability but you do have to account for him but his health going forward has to be a concern.
Not to sound like an excuse, but losing defensive starters such as Church for the season, Coleman and Ratliff for multiple games and then Spencer and Sensabaugh for a game each, how much has that affected this defense?
*Broaddus: *As well as Josh Brent has played this season, he is still no Jay Ratliff. Brent has played with a lot of power but with Ratliff, you have a player that is a combination of both power and quickness. Ratliff gives you so much in the middle of that defense that teams have to prepare for. The Cowboys really need him in that nickel to get pressure at the three technique attacking that pocket. I really do believe that Rob Ryan and his staff have done an outstanding job of holding this defense together with the number of players that have been out of the lineup. The one positive thing you can take from all the changes is that young players like Danny McCray, Sean Lissemore, Tyrone Crawford and Kyle Wilber have received more playing time and look for safety Matt Johnson to also work his way back in the mix.
From a scouting perspective, is there more emphasis on looking at other teams and rosters to find talent during a bye week, or is that a full-year task that never ends?
Broaddus:Scouting is a full time job year around. Where teams take advantage of the bye week is to bring players in off the street to work out because their coaches can take a break from the preparation of the game plan to eye ball the players themselves. It's easier to ask them to do it now instead of when they are trying to get ready for a game. You always want the most up to date information on your emergency board and these work outs give you that chance. You can see who is in shape and where you might have the wrong guys on your board but these are really things you think about 24/7 and just not during the open week.